Three areas of Paris ban purchase of alcohol after 5pm

Certain areas in three Paris arrondissements have banned the purchase of alcohol in supermarkets after 5pm in an attempt to curb nighttime noise and disorder.

Three areas of Paris ban purchase of alcohol after 5pm
Alcohol bottles positioned on shelves at a supermarket in France (Photo by Christophe SIMON / AFP)

Purchasing alcohol in supermarkets – even in small quantities – will no longer be possible between the hours of 5pm and 8:30am on certain streets in the 9th, 10th and 12th arrondissements of Paris.

The new rule is an extension of an existing local decree passed in August 2022, which made it so that people could not consume alcohol in public spaces in certain parts of the above arrondissements after 4pm and could not purchase alcoholic beverages – including both wine, beer, cider and spirits – at supermarkets and corner shops after 9pm.

In total, 30 streets, boulevards and squares in the capital are affected by the change in rules. The decree outlines the borders for each sector, with the new rule applying specifically to “sectors 1 and 2 of the 9th, sector 2 of the 10th and sector 1 of the 12th”.

These include areas near Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est, Boulevard de Rochechouart, Rue de Faubarg-Saint-Denis on the right bank of the river. On the left bank, the roads affected are near Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement. You can find a map of the areas concerned here.

Wine shops, bars, restaurants and other establishments that “sell such beverages exclusively” will not be affected by the change to the localised rule. This means that people will still be able to purchase alcohol in the areas where the ban on sales is applied, but only in certain establishments.

The adaptation of the decree will remain in effect until December 31st, though local authorities may choose to extend it again. Stores that do not follow the updated regulation could be subject to fines.

According to the decree, the goal of the updated rules is to decrease the amount of public intoxication and drinking. According to Le Parisien, the areas were picked because the city’s police prefecture found that they had issues with “persistent disturbances related to excessive alcohol consumption”, particularly nearby to the Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est. 

While some inhabitants in the affected areas have expressed frustration at the new rules for purchasing alcohol, others welcomed the change.

Josiane, a retiree and resident of one of the streets impacted told Le Parisien that “the neighbourhood has become rowdy (…) at night, there are too many drunk people in the street. We are woken up in the middle of the night by screams and the sound of break-ins. Maybe this measure will help limit access to alcohol”.

Local authorities in France are allowed to restrict the purchase of alcohol. In many parts of the country, there are rules dictating whether or not alcoholic beverages can be sold in supermarkets on Sundays. Additionally local authorities can enact temporary rules regarding the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

READ MORE: Closed, open or restricted shopping: What’s the deal with Sunday opening in France?

These are particularly common when large crowds are expected in public areas, such as after an important sporting event or during holidays like New Year’s Eve.

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Paris petanque paradise makes pitch to avoid eviction

A storied Paris petanque club on Tuesday argued in court against a city eviction order, hoping to stay put in a private garden coveted by its boutique hotel neighbour.

Paris petanque paradise makes pitch to avoid eviction

For 50 years, the leafy haven at the top of the Montmartre district has housed the Lepic-Abbesses Petanque Club (CLAP) and its 257 members, fans of France’s national bowling pastime.

The players oversee the upkeep of the 765 square metres of grounds, a rare remnant of the vegetation that once covered the butte, with the city giving tacit approval by hooking up water and electricity.

Even amid rapid gentrification and a surge of tourism the club maintained its Montmartre village vibe.

But last year, city officials warned the nonprofit club that it was squatting the site without any authorisation, and said it would consider rival projects for use of the public land.

The CLAP says its the victim of the luxury Hotel Particulier adjacent to the site, whose owner is a former club member who wants his own private garden.

The hotel recently was given a 12-year contract to operate the site, which the club vowed to fight in court.

“No work was ever done on the site” by the city, the club’s lawyer Sebastien Le Briero told the Paris administrative court, insisting that the club was the de-facto occupant ensuring a rare green space in the area.

Lawyers for the city countered that no contracts were ever signed, and that games lasting into the night, helped along with clubhouse beers, had prompted noise complaints.

More than 7,000 people have signed an online petition to save the CLAP, calling it an essential part of Montmartre, which is hoping to join UNESCO’s ranks of protected World Heritage Sites.

“We want to keep the site in its current state, while opening it up as much as possible to the neighbourhood,” Maxime Liogier, the club’s communications manager, told AFP during an open house to rally support last November.

The judge’s ruling is expected on September 25.